A federal grand jury in Kansas City, Kan., has indicted a 34-year-old University of Kansas graduate on charges of falsely claiming he served as a translator for the U.S. Army in Iraq on his visa application.
The grand jury on Wednesday charged Goran Sabah Ghafour of Lawrence with one count of visa fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft. He was initially charged with a criminal complaint July 19 in federal court in Kansas City, Kan.
According to court documents, Ghafour applied for an immigrant visa while he was a graduate teaching assistant in the journalism department at KU. He allegedly submitted the application under a special provision for former Iraqi nationals who worked for the U.S. military in Iraq.
Ghafour allegedly submitted letters from two brigadier generals verifying his service and supporting his application. Investigators determined the letters were fabricated and that the two officers had not written or signed the letters.
Ghafour faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000 on the visa charge and no less than two years on the identity theft charges.
He graduated in May with his doctorate, according to KU spokeswoman Erinn Barcomb-Peterson.
Ghafour’s recent research on the effects of covering war on journalists was featured in the university’s 2016 Chancellor Report.
The grand jury also charged Joshua Grimm, 32, of Leavenworth, with one count of distributing child pornography, and Imon L. Wright, 34, of Kansas City, with one count each of possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute it, possessing a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking and unlawful possession of a firearm following a felony conviction.